Marriott International announced today that millions of guests’ information may have been accessed through a security breach involving Starwood properties and their reservation database.
In their press release, the company stated that on November 19, an investigation determined there was unauthorized access to the database. The investigation began when Marriott was alerted in early September of this year of an attempt to access the Starwood database in the United States. The company stated that the information impacted was for reservations that took place on or before September 10 of this year.
During the investigation, it was discovered that unauthorized access to the Starwood network had been in existence since 2014.
The information involved in the breach, according to Marriott International, includes “some combination of name, mailing address, phone number, email address, passport number, Starwood Preferred Guest (“SPG”) account information, date of birth, gender, arrival and departure information, reservation date, and communication preferences. For some, the information also includes payment card numbers and payment card expiration dates, but the payment card numbers were encrypted using Advanced Encryption Standard encryption (AES-128).”
For other customers, the information affected was limited in scope such as name, mailing address, email address, or other information.
The company is still working on identifying duplicate guest information, however they believe the breach could affect approximately 500 million guests.
Arne Sorenson, Marriott’s President and CEO stated in the press release “We deeply regret this incident happened,” “We fell short of what our guests deserve and what we expect of ourselves. We are doing everything we can to support our guests, and using lessons learned to be better moving forward.”
The company has also established a dedicated website and call center to answer all questions regarding this incident. The call center is open seven days a week and is available in multiple languages.
Here are the numbers for the Call Center:
If you stayed at a Starwood property, monitor your credit card statements and other accounts for suspicious activity. Today, the company began contacting those who may have been affected through email with instructions. The address the email will be coming from is email@example.com.
The company also states that any email they send will not contain attachments or be requesting information from you; any any links in the email will take you to their website dedicated to this incident.
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